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Rhombophyllum dolabriforme (Elkhorn Plant)


Scientific Name

Rhombophyllum dolabriforme (L.) Schwant.

Common Names

Elkhorn Plant, Hatchet Plant


Mesembryanthemum dolabriforme (basionym), Hereroa dolabriformis, Mesembryanthemum dolabriformoides

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Genus: Rhombophyllum


Rhombophyllum dolabriforme is low, succulent semi-shrub richly branching at its tips. Tufted when young the plants slowly grow out into densely branched, low mound up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall at maturity. The leaves grow upright, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, mid-green to dark green, with translucent dots. The flowers are daisy-like, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter, mostly solitary, golden yellow often tinged with red on the back. The flowers open in the afternoon. It blooms for many months, beginning in mid-spring.

How to Grow and Care

The basics of Mesemb care are very simple, with free-draining soil, plenty of sun and ventilation, and regular light watering in the right season. Yet the difficulties are endless, trying to adapt to the Mesembs' own adaptability and to follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.

Mesembs require a loam-based compost with the addition of extra drainage material such as horticultural grit or perlite. They all like good light conditions and plenty of ventilation.

Some are relatively cold-hardy and can even survive mild winters outside. Most will survive temperatures down to freezing point. There are some Mesembs which begin to grow in the autumn as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.

Because different genera within the Mesemb family have different growing conditions, care mast be taken with watering. Some genera will benefit from a light spray water to prevent shrivelling during their dormant period… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.


Native to South Africa (Eastern Cape).


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